Influential women inspire at event

2015-09-02 06:00
AT the womenand#039;s breakfast are from the left Connie Rampai, deputy mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Dr Danisa Baloyi, Pelonomi Tseka and Farai Lorraine Gundan. 
Siphumelele Khumalo

AT the womenand#039;s breakfast are from the left Connie Rampai, deputy mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, Dr Danisa Baloyi, Pelonomi Tseka and Farai Lorraine Gundan. Photo: Siphumelele Khumalo

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A TOTAL of 50%

of all 18- to 35-year-olds in South Africa is unemployed and of this 50%, 30% will never work.

This is according to Prof. Helena van Zyl, director of the School of Management at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Speaking at a women’s breakfast event held in Bloemfontein recently, Van Zyl emphasised her concern about the changing environment and how technology was hampering employment.

To counter this, Van Zyl said people needed to be proactive and step out of their comfort zones.

She suggested that people find their passions and purpose and make a conscious decision to create jobs and secure the future of this country. Also, she believes it is important for every individual to find that thing that makes them different.

The theme of the breakfast was Women Empowerment and among those who addressed the gathering were Dr Danisa Baloyi, a businesswoman, and Farai Lorraine Gundan, a master’s in Business Administration (MBA) graduate, TV and radio personality and an African entertainment blogger.

The women shared their stories and personal experiences on the journey to thriving and excelling in a male-dominated world and age.

Baloyi, with many interests in various fields and different ventures, has served and still serves on many boards as deputy chairperson, chairperson or director for a number of JSE-listed companies.

She said women often believed that they were not capable.

“Intelligence and tenacity are not gender based. We believe that we are not capable, otherwise we would change things,” said Baloyi.

She spoke on the importance of women empowering one another and how distasteful it was that after some women had risen, they “shut the doors” instead of equipping their fellow women to rise with them.

Baloyi concluded by telling the guests that the world did not owe them anything and that it was entirely up to them to get up and make their dreams come true.

Gundan was the last guest speaker. She expressed her burning passion for African girls. She was born in Zimbabwe, raised by her single South African mother and later moved to the United States of America.

“It is important to know your life story, whether it is good or bad, and to tell your story. You don’t have to be ashamed of anything. Your story will bring you glory,” said Gundan.

She is also a speaker and commentator on the role of women in Africa, and was even featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Gundun finished off by saying: “Nothing is impossible for you, get that education.”

Connie Rampai, the deputy mayor of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, reminded the audience that they need not rely on government for employment and encouraged everyone to use the treasure within

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